We spent the weekend (including my first mother's day) with my family in Kentucky. It was beautiful -- a much-needed break in many ways. I had the breaks afforded me by all kinds of volunteer babysitters who like to help feed and entertain Israel. It was great. I think those cultures where families keep adding on to houses and everyone lives together have one up on us. I had all kinds of not-as-clear things to say about the experience, but really, whoever said, "Many hands make light work," said it best.
The place we visited was only about 15 minutes from my parents' house, a place called Raven's Run. It's a gorgeous place. We like to hike through the fields into the woods, down the side of something between a hill and a mountain, to the creek at the bottom by the shell of an old mill that stands near where the water breaks into all kinds of little waterfalls. A spider was swinging its web over the water when we were there this time; it should've been frightened. There were caterpillars everywhere and many had been stepped on along the paths. I took joy in picking them up, feeling their little legs tickle my hand, and putting them down in more appropriate places. Pat said this is the sort of thing that makes people think I'm weird. I said it seemed hypocritical to go somewhere to enjoy nature and then not to care if you killed all kinds of little animals while you were there. Pat decided to be weird right along with me. I knew I liked him.
I'm including on here a snippet of our conversation on our hike. Pat said I should, otherwise "it will just get lost in a bunch of videos and won't ever be used for anything." There is a certain turn of the path that inevitably makes us feel like we're in Lord of the Rings. This is the conversation that ensued. (Turn his up and turn mine down though...as you all know, I'm loud and he's kind of a mumbler.)
Pat: riding the line between a hobbit and a human
Lezlie: a human wishing to be an elf
There were a couple of times on our hike that I stopped to
Pat said on our hike, "It feels like we belong here...like this is more our home than anywhere else." Perhaps, then, we really do live as "aliens and strangers" in the flat, urban landscape of Muncie with all its man-made sounds and problems -- perhaps more than we are sometimes aware. And that makes our times of retreat all the more special and wonderful. Just a short visit "home" to the woods and I come out feeling human and alive again, mindful that I am to grow.